be (as) tough as nails

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be (as) tough as nails

1. To be very physically strong and resilient. Marty has played in 500 straight games without so much as a sprained ankle—he's as tough as nails. My grandfather did a lot of physical labor around the family farm, so he was tough as nails.
2. To be very emotionally or mentally strong and resilient, especially in the face of adversity. We need someone who is tough as nails at the head of the company when time get rough. The tragedy has been really hard on our whole family, but my wife has been as tough as nails throughout it all.
See also: nail, tough